Scourge stamped out
europe has been declared polio-free. For some 870 million people living in the region's 51 member states, this declaration is an important public health milestone in the new millennium. The European Regional Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis confirmed that the disease had been eradicated in the continent.
Europe achieved this status through national immunisation campaigns wherein 60 million children under five years of age received two extra doses of the polio vaccine from 1995 to 1998. "To reach this stage of success required the full commitment and cooperation of each of our member states, the hard work of public health workers and the firm support of international partners in coordination with the World Health Organisation (who),' said Marc Danzon, who regional director for Europe. Europe now joins the Americas and the Western Pacific as a